Singles of the Year: 2012

Officially there are exactly three squillion singles released each year, and every Sunday the enthusiastic staff at TMF Towers sort through them to come up with the winner of our much coveted Single of the Week crown. As 2012 draws to a close we went back through each week's round-up and picked out a dozen of these winners for a nicely digestible selection of the tunes that have been floating our boat this year. We’ve also included our thoughts at the time to jog both our memories and yours. Do you remember the first time you heard these, we ask?

Lana Del Rey - ‘Born To Die’

Just how do you follow up one of the finest singles of recent years? By basically doing the same again if you're Lana Del Rey and, for once, that's no bad thing. 'Born To Die', the title track from her upcoming debut album of the same name is sumptuously seductive and darkly compelling and while not as flawless as 'Video Games', it's miles ahead of the competition. We can't wait to see what LDR has in store for us on the album. (Ian Sandwell)

Kasabian - ‘Goodbye Kiss’

Those who only know Kasabian through brain-crushing tunes such as 'Club Foot' and 'Underdog' may be a bit taken aback by their latest offering. The sublime 'Goodbye Kiss' hearkens back to the girl groups of the 60s and those epic ballads about the heartache of lost love. Tom Meighan's wonderful voice conveys all the pain and sorrow of a broken heart as the gorgeous music swells behind him. Perfection. (Olivia Schaff)

Blood Red Shoes - ‘Cold’

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it seems to be Blood Red Shoes motto as this return to the fray exemplifies. A bout of frenetic drumming kicks things off perfectly and Laura-Mary Carter’s typically strident, hard-edged yet strangely entrancing vocals remind you of how good this Brighton duo really are. No change of direction, no futile attempt to hit the flooded dubstep market, just a great big slab of hard hitting garage rock. It’s good to have them back. (Greg Belton)

Dan Mangan - About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All

Overcoming what is perhaps one of the longest titles in recent musical history, Dan Mangan’s 'About As Helpful...' coasts by with a wonderful, one-two rhythm and husky vocals that make it just about as lovely a two-and-a-half minutes of music that you'll hear all year. (IS)

Paloma Faith - ‘Picking Up The Pieces’

'Picking Up The Pieces' marks a sumptuous return for Paloma Faith on the first track to be taken from her forthcoming second effort Fall To Grace. Her powerful, affected vocals are gloriously intact, imbuing the track with such fierce emotion that it's hard to not get swept away. Welcome back Paloma. We've missed you. (IS)

Jake Bugg - ‘Lightning Bolt’

With a wonderfully rustic feel, Jake Bugg's 'Lightning Bolt' is an absolute delight. Bugg's gruff, folky vocals make it hard to believe this Nottingham troubadour is just 18, and it's all driven on by some cracking acoustic riffage before an electric guitar comes in to bolster matters. It may only be two-and-a-half minutes long but it makes a big impact. (IS)

The Invisible - ‘Wings’

Riddled with despair, yet tinted with hope, this electro-tinged affair from moody Mercury nominated The Invisible is an organic musical analysis of life and death. Delicate percussion breathes life into the track and gives it solidity, whilst Okumu's eerie vocals make 'Wings' a standout track in the currently competitive lo-fi genre. (Holly Newins)

Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo with Frank Turner - ‘Fields Of June’

Fresh from his turn as Olympic opening ceremony warm up act, hardcore screecher turned follkie Frank Turner adds his distinctive voice to that of fellow troubadour Emily Barker. The result is a dark, but beautiful bouncy murder ballad with a vintage country tinged edge that is simply irresistable. Let's hope Turner's increased popularity will see 'Fields Of June' receive the plaudits it so richly deserves. (GB)

MS MR – ‘Bones’

Fortunately not a cover of The Killers track of the same name, 'Bones' is the first track released from New York duo MS MR's EP Candy Bar Creep Show. As befitting the EP's name, the track is a stunning combination of the ominously dark - check out those stabbing synths - and the delightfully sweet which comes in the form of the lead vocals replete with just the right amount of edge to blend perfectly with the electro pop/rock backing. A belter. (IS)

AlunaGeorge - ‘Your Drums, Your Love’

See, this might justify the buzz. Smooth, sophisticated and very 2012, the jittery beats don't overwhelm what is, at heart, an old school British soul track that won't scare the horses. If there's a danger, it's that things will get a bit too Soul II Soul and 'Your Drums ...' will just appear on every second cookery programme and BBC trailer, but even so, better than The xx for sure. (Douglas Baptie)

The Civil Wars - ‘Poison & Wine’ EP

Given their recent well-documented issues, this Poison & Wine EP might be the last thing we hear from The Civil Wars. Let's hope not. With four tracks of gorgeously honed folk led by the heartbreaking title track (taken from their debut album Barton Hollow), the EP breezes by in a glorious haze. Each of the three covers is strong, yet their Smashing Pumpkins' cover of 'Disarm' is our personal favourite. Put on this EP and then cross every possible digit that we hear new stuff come 2013. (IS)

Red Measure - ‘No-One's Face’ EP

This Nashville trio's EP offers up three slices of doom laden indie rock with unrelenting pounding beats that makes a refreshing change from the cheesy Christmas tunes assaulting the ears of any sensible music fan. The feedback laced 'Dark Tongue Gel' is the clear highlight but you really can't go wrong with anything on this unexpectedly enjoyable EP of unrelenting gloominess. (GB)

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